by Julia Ward
Have you ever heard of the Greenway located in South Side Bethlehem? I hadn’t until a few days ago, because I am not from the area, and I am completely amazed to find out that the Greenway exists. It is something extremely beneficial to the city of Bethlehem due to the fact that not only does the environment benefit but also the community’s health and well-being.
This rails to trails process has been in the works since 2005. This project has physically removed the railroad tracks that were used for Bethlehem Steel and other plants in the area and has transformed the area into a lush trail that can be used for a variety of activities. This transition from rails to trails demonstrates the city’s desire for independence from the once dominant, Bethlehem Steel. These tracks are a physical reminder of the city’s transformation.
When completed, the Greenway will span over three miles and is in the process of being done in a series of phases. The ultimate goal of the phases is to connect the various trails together so that there is one continuous greenway throughout the area. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation along with PennDot, along with many other organizations, have contributed the necessary resources to continue on the path to completing this sustainable project.
These trails encourage the community to get outdoors and exercise. But also, when one walks or exercises on the Greenway they are less likely to be exposed to high levels of pollution, both diesel and gasoline. While diesel pollution is far worse, both can negatively affect the environment and one’s health. Many organizations in the area are encouraging students to walk to school using the Greenway. This is because the air quality in this area would be a lot cleaner compared to the sidewalks located on busy streets. Children and adults alike would be less likely to develop asthma along with other respiratory problems.
So instead of going on a walk or run on a busy street in your neighborhood, get to the Greenway!